Monday, December 28, 2009


I’m sitting in an open air coffee shop, banana shake and coffee in front of me, Russians to my left (with an odd obsession for toast) and plants in all 360 of my vision. Amanda and I arrived in Bangkok 2 days ago. To be honest I threw Bangkok onto the itinerary because A. Amanda still giggles every time she says our location and B. it is blasphemy to travel Thailand and not sneak a peak at its Bangkok.

The waitress just answered her, bejeweled pink I-phone in the middle of my trying to order a coffee…yep still waiting….the caffeine deprived dirty looks are not phasing her…is a pinch inappropriate? Ok victory…refocus.

We got off our morning Air Asia flight and I instantly felt like I had dunked my head underwater. The absence of sound was deafening. I hadn’t realized how acclimatized I had become to constant commotion. The energy, I felt lost without, is best explained through Saigon's circular streets. Saigon (Ho Chi Min City) has a couple of main round-abouts. The Circle of death in the city center, this is the Pacific Gyro of Saigon, everyone in the city is collected in the gyro, violently mixed about, then thrust at random back into Saigon.

Side note: I have a manual motor bike, forces beyond my control sucked me into the gyro, my roommate (Sian) was on the back, I stalled four times in succession, I may have peed a little, I swore I saw the bright light of death, turned out it was just truck headlights coming straight for us, I still have night sweats about the experience, Sian just thought I was pausing to help her conveniently light a cigarette.

Anyhow, I expected Bangkok to be a huge Gyro of death the likes of which I had never seen. Not the case. It is…organized, clean and as previously stated, quiet. I think it helps that Thai is not as harsh as Vietnamese. A Vietnamese person could be having a conversation 100 yards away and it still stabs your ear drum repeatedly and sadistically. Also, I am sitting in a “real” chair right now: if I were in Vietnam I would be sitting in a lawn chair. Additionally, I am looking into a stream of traffic and can distinguish between those traveling north or south. I don’t like it… I prefer Ho chi min.

I am trying not hold its well maintained exterior against it…Amanda and I have had a glorious time. Two of my best friends from Korea have been living here for a month or two, so we have meandered with their guidance. Huge open air markets, fresh fruit, tattoos, dread locks, morbid manikins, pad thai, banana shakes, disturbing inanimate objects (I’m making a collage) tin cups and hues of orange… are Bangkok. Our favorite meal was given to us by Kitty, the taxi driver, (his mom made it) and our latest, great, conversation was instigated because the guy (the attractive guy) farted so loud, I couldn’t let it go uncommented.

Tonight we leave Bangkok. 7pm to be exact…we then are traveling down the coast by longest and cheapest means possible on route to Koh Pangan/the full moon party. The full moon party is a monthly party (obvious alert), started by travel hippies in the 60’s it has grown to a traveler’s spring break (exchange the drunk blonds for drunk blonds with dreads). There are live bands, “creative” fire games, and buckets of redbull and vodka. This year, the new year coincides with the full moon, this happens once every 26 years…this could be a bad idea. Nonetheless, we go armed with our rules (ok just one…stay away from the fire!) and other handy tips the farting foreigner bestowed upon us (the taxi drivers do not sell ecstasy).My only goal is to NOT add third degree burns to Manda’s laundry list of injuries!

PS I added this picture of Amanda's awesome sunburn...just as an added bonus. I will be constantly entertained until it evens out!